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Tea maker sued for artificial ingredient in 'all-natural' tea

By Shaun Zinck | Jun 9, 2015

| Shutterstock

The makers of a tea brand are being sued over allegations its natural tea is mislabeled and isn't actually all natural.

Zabrina Collazo and Mark Flolo filed the lawsuit in U.S. District Court in New York on May 27 against Inko's Tea claiming its ready-to-drink white tea products are labeled as 100 percent all-natural when they actually contain an artificial ingredient.

The lawsuit states nine different white teas that contain ascorbic acid, which is a “non-natural, highly chemically processed ingredient regularly used as a preservative in ready-to-drink tea products.”

Ascorbic acid is labeled as vitamin C on the packaging, however, isn't the vitamin that is extracted from citrus fruits, the lawsuit said. Instead, the ingredient is “industrially synthesized via complex chemical synthetic routes and thus cannot be considered 'minimally processed,'” according to the lawsuit.

The lawsuit is seeking class status for those who purchased Inko's White Tea with the ascorbic acid. The plaintiffs are also seeking more than $5 million in damages plus court costs and attorneys fees.

The plaintiffs are represented by C.K. Lee of the Lee Litigation Group, PLLC in New York City.

U.S. District Court Eastern District of New York case number 1:15-cv-03070.

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